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Utah Day 1: The Guide

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Dave!Watched "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" today and have mixed feelings about it. I am a huge, huge Douglas Adams fan. I've read every one of his books and have met the man three times at readings he's done. On top of that, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books of all time. Given that kind of devotion to the material, I admit that I was biased against it going in. How could it possibly live up to what's been in my head for twenty years?

On one hand, it was an entertaining flick with absolutely perfect casting and beautiful effects (Shynola could have really dropped the ball in animating The Guide but shined instead). Compared to many movies out there, it's brilliant. On the other hand... well, compared to the actual book, it sucks. They made too many senseless changes that meandered off into distraction. If the changes improved the story for film, I wouldn't have objected... but the majority of the changes just didn't make sense. They didn't make the film funnier. They didn't make the story easier to follow. They didn't explain things for those unfamiliar with the books. They were changes for no reason I could see, and they would have been better off sticking to the source material. Why mess with perfection?

Guide Poster

For true fans, there were a few nice touches... like the original theme from the radio show that played when The Guide was opening up. The original "Marvin" from the television version standing in line at the Vogosphere. And Douglas Adam's head being the last object transformed into by The Heart of Gold (to name a few). It's not enough to make up for some gross errors, but it helps.

Complaints aside, I am glad I saw the film. As I mentioned, the casting is so good that I can never again read one of The Guide books without picturing characters and settings imagined here (except Zaphod's second head, which was stupidly handled in the film). All I can say is that if you see the film and haven't yet read the book... you really must. You can't not read it.

And while we are on the subject of Douglas Adams, his book Last Chance To See (about his quest to see endangered species around the globe before they disappear forever), is also worth a look. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time... all while being an incredibly important work as well.

One last thing. For the love of Zarquon... SUBWAY, WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP PUTTING THAT f#@%ING TOOL JARED IN ALL YOUR LAME-ASS COMMERCIALS! Seriously, I don't give a crap if you are toasting your subs now... I will drive 20 minutes into Wenatchee so I can get a real toasted sub at Quiznos so long as you keep having that moron advertise your shit. Jared had a fat ass, ate some sandwiches, and lost weight... BIG f#@%ING DEAL, it doesn't make him any less annoying. All you're doing is pissing people off by keeping his dumb ass on television. And yes, I still want him dead... now more than ever.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."
Yesterday's Answer: Traffic (2000) with Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Annette says:

    Notting Hill, Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant

  2. delmer says:

    I saw the movie and share many of your thoughts. I read the books — I had to see the movie, and I’m glad I did, but I have mixed feelings about it.

    I’m currently reading The Salmon of Doubt. It is very good.

  3. Ben says:

    So long and thanks for all the fish.


    I enjoyed the movie, and I agree about the head thing. And I ever so wuved the animations for the guide book. Classic.

  4. Neil T. says:

    “Individuals lost weight by exercising and eating a balanced, reduced-calorie diet that included SUBWAY® sandwiches with 6 grams of fat or less. Their results are not typical. Your loss if any will vary. SUBWAY® Restaurants does not endorse the diet Jared created and cautions anyone embarking on a weight-loss plan to consult their physician.”

    If they don’t endorse the diet, why is he in their commercials so much? Thankfully we don’t get much exposure to him over here.

  5. Clair says:

    You have to bare in mind that the changes to the story were all suggested by Douglas Adams himself. This wasn’t really a ‘book to film adaptation’, it was a new hitchhikers guide.

  6. Dave2 says:

    They may not endorse his diet, but they obviously endorse Jared. His commercials have always been terrible, but the latest round is apocalyptic. Jared is a sign that the world will be ending any minute now.

    I know that Adams worked on the screenplay, so he is partially to blame for what happened… but since he died before he could see readings and rehearsals, we’ll never know what might have been changed. I also wonder what his original script was like, because I can’t imagine he would have left so many dead-ends in it. My guess is the biggest problems happened in editing, but I guess I’ll never know.

    It’s like “The Firm” – breathtaking novel that they altered for film for no good reason… but at least Grisham wasn’t involved in butchering his own novel. Had Adams lived to see final product, I can’t help but think that things would have been put together differently, however.

  7. James Bow says:

    I likened the movie to a eulogy given by a friend of Adams, summarizing his life and achievements. It is a shadow of what Douglas achieved in life, but it was still respectful of his memory, and I respect the movie for that.

    If nothing else, it should encourage people to go back and read Adams’ book.

  8. Rob says:

    I’ve been scared to go see this movie. I loved the book just as everyone else that read it has. But all the movies and BBC shows that have been done about the book have sucked major ass. And this is the reason I have decided to wait till DVD to see this movie.

    And yes I agree, Jared is a major flaming turd in a toilet bowl of stink water. One that should be flushed with a giggle and a grin to the bowels of hell.

  9. MRKisThatKid says:

    But jared is responsible for one of the funniest south parks!

    Not that i’ve ever seen the ads though.

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